Queolby

The Development of Mormon Theology(Book)

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Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

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2 minutes ago, Queolby said:

Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

I haven't read the book. Doctrine can change and evolve with the endowment of greater light but will never contradict or supersede the basic doctrine as taught in the Book of Mormon. Also, policy and practice are often misunderstood as and conflated with doctrine. These can certainly change without corrupting the keys, covenants or sealing power by which they are effectuated on earth and in heaven.

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I have not read it. I will say that "Mormon Theology" is an oxymoron. We believe in a revealed pattern of worship and belief, not something derived from scholarly study. Obviously human influence will leave its fingerprints on LDS beliefs and practices. That is of no moment, so long as we are what we claim to be. English doesn't have to be God's first language for him to speak to us, and the uninspired musings of scholars, however careful and ponderous, are of no more benefit to the people of God than were Augustine's writings.

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4 hours ago, Queolby said:

Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

Admittedly, haven't read it.

But my take on the subject: God's Truth never change.  But our understanding of them does grow over time, as do the various procedures we use to best get things done.  Both of those are influenced by culture.  Additionally, there is pure church & secular culture that influence behavior.

It would be silly for anyone to deny those facts.

However, those facts highlight the need for continuing revelation: to have the Lord be heard on what is His Truth and His guidance, less we just be caught up in our own culture.    

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15 hours ago, Queolby said:

Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

You read it.  Can you give an example?  This statement could mean any number of things from completely innocent to outright slanderous.

Quote

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Depends on what he actually meant by it.  It really could mean anything.  The quote you gave outside of context is not enough to comment on.  It could mean anything.

Quote

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

You're the one who read it.  What are YOUR opinions on it?

Edited by Mores

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I would be more curious to ask Joseph Smith and then ask President Nelson if they think they view doctrine differently. My guess is that they both would have a similar understanding and provide the same context for what doctrine is.

I am not sure what you are trying to say by "HUMAN"... It is no question that as we gain more knowledge we will ask more questions and the brethren will ask more questions, which culture, societal laws, multiple cultures in one church, will affect what is taught (doctrine), principles, practices, policies, and true doctrine.

Even the Pharisees try to prove Jesus doctrine wasn't true doctrine and that it was the devil's doctrine. Critics will use anything they can and they will use sophistry as the basis of their discourse.

Let's be honest though, this is the "Developement of Mormon Theology" through the eyes of this man. The real question, is this member seeing things "as they really are" or seeing things through his own "eyes" which then is stated as "undeniable facts"?

EDIT:

Found this snippet explanation of this book from a website, and if this is correct, there then is a flaw, "He describes how Mormonism has carried on the tradition of the biblical authors, early Christians, and later Protestants in reinterpreting scripture to accommodate new theological ideas while attempting to uphold the integrity and authority of the scriptures." (emphasis)

If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "reinterpreting" scripture, then we are not the only true church. The Church is not reinterpreting scripture, it is providing the actual meaning of what the prophets of old actually were saying. Not reinterpreting anything.

The Church is either lead by revelation (Article of Faith #9) or it isn't.

Edited by Anddenex

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I am of the belief that doctrine is not as consequential in the eternal scheme of things as the world tries to make it - case in point the Pharisees.  I believe there are three things far more important to the Saints of G-d and I will list them:

#1. The Law.

#2. The Ordinances

#3. The Everlasting Covenant.  I include the term "everlasting" with covenant to uniquely specify all covenants acceptable and embraced by G-d. 

If I can use symbolism - I would say that the 3 items listed are symbolic to 3 legs on a stool or table which is representative of the relationship humans have with G-d.  In short one cannot remain worthy and receive blessing from ordinances if they transgress the law and break the everlasting covenant.  Participating in ordinances is not all that is necessary to keep the law and remain loyal to the everlasting covenant.  All 3 are necessary and the failure or weakness of one leaves the whole incomplete.

I am not saying that doctrine has no place - just that we do not miss the forest for all the trees or throw the baby out with the bathwater (speaking symbolically).  What brings me to sorrow are the Saints of G-d that put their "doctrines" before The Law, The Ordinances and The Everlasting Covenant.

To be honest concerning myself - I am a believer in the doctrine of evolution.  I believe it has strong applications to many doctrines we hold to as Saints.  I also believe those that do not believe in evolution are poorly informed (among other things).  Strangely, I also believe that there will be many in the Eternal Celestial Kingdom that did not believe in evolution during their probation.   In short, as long as someone keep The Law, accepts The Ordinances (does not change them) and is loyal to The Everlasting Covenant - they have fulfilled their purpose and their belief in doctrine is secondary.

If I were Satan I would make doctrine the most important element in the hearts of the Saints (saints first and the rest of the world to follow) and convince them that anyone that disagrees with their important and sacred doctrines are not real Saints.

 

The Traveler

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On 8/13/2019 at 4:17 PM, Queolby said:

Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

I read it a while ago.  I haven't retained a lot of the information.  The purpose of the book was to convey just how much nuance there is in the development of our doctrine.  Not just in the modern church but going all the way back into the Old Testament. 

It is clear that the most of our theology has evolved and changed over time. But I am personally comfortable with this fact.  Human beings have always been engaged in trying to make sense of the universe and the divine.  Its a process.  We shouldn't expect to have everything figured out all at once.  

 

 

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The architect prepares the plan, the builder creates the structure and the owner/occupiers add their own touch. Does the work of the builders and the owner/occupiers change the plan? I think not. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 8:17 AM, Queolby said:

Has anyone ever read the book the Development of Mormon theology by Charles Harrell? It was written by a BYU professor and the book is about how doctrine was viewed differently back in the day than how it is viewed today. And that "there's certain, undeniable facts that demonstrate that HUMAN hands, culture, etc have been all over the evolving development of LDS doctrine."

I can see critics using this to show that our doctrine is man made.

Anyways. I wouldn't mind some opinions especially from those who have read it.  

I think that God's plans are sufficiently flexible as to be able to accomodate some involvement from His children. I also think if that involvement leads to things becoming too far off the track, He will take whatever remedial action may be necessary. 

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 9:16 AM, Anddenex said:

EDIT:

Found this snippet explanation of this book from a website, and if this is correct, there then is a flaw, "He describes how Mormonism has carried on the tradition of the biblical authors, early Christians, and later Protestants in reinterpreting scripture to accommodate new theological ideas while attempting to uphold the integrity and authority of the scriptures." (emphasis)

If The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "reinterpreting" scripture, then we are not the only true church. The Church is not reinterpreting scripture, it is providing the actual meaning of what the prophets of old actually were saying. Not reinterpreting anything.

The Church is either lead by revelation (Article of Faith #9) or it isn't.

Personal Opinion..

I would disagree with this.  When the Lord was in his mortal ministry, the true church was that of the Jews.  It had gone astray, but it was STILL THE TRUE CHURCH.  As long as it still had the keys and those who held the Priesthood (though I believe in that John the Baptist was the one who actually HELD the keys at the time, though there were others who probably still held the priesthood) the Church was still the True Church on Earth.  It was this church to which the Lord was a member of himself, and those who were members of it were his primary targets for teachings and blessings, as well as those who were inheritors of it's charge (the Jews as a race as well).

Likewise, unless they actually lose the Keys and the Priesthood, the Church today will remain the True Church regardless if they have various miscellaneous policies which might stray from the original intent (not that they have, but if they did).  The prophet, as long as he holds the Keys will BE the PROPHET.  Now, if he suddenly goes off the wall and the apostles forget section 107:79-84 and they also go off the wall...and create all sorts of weird and inane policies such as they did and adhered to during the Lord's mortal ministry...as long as they still retain the Priesthood and the Keys...they will STILL be the Prophet and Apostles and this STILL will be the CHURCH.

The difference is that when the great apostasy occurred, those with the keys to the Priesthood were killed off, and thus no one was left to give the keys to others.  Thus, when strange ideas and laws came about, there was no correction of revelation, and there was no one of authority to keep the Priesthood going as those who did have it, with no others with the keys to preside over it...the Priesthood itself died off.

Thus, as long as that does not happen today, even if strange ideas come in, as LONG as they retain the keys and the Priesthood...the church remains the True Church.

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